New Sonic Pi Essentials book – series available in print!

One of the most unique and expressive teaching tools on the Raspberry Pi is Sonic Pi, the live music coding app. It lets you create your own sound your own way, and modify it on the fly in case you’re DJing an event (happens to us all the time). All of this is done in code on the Raspberry Pi. To get you started in this new world of live-coding synthesised melodies, we’ve got a brand Essentials book: Code music with Sonic Pi.

Over 100 pages of Sonic Pi excellence

Over 100 pages of Sonic Pi excellence

Much like our other Essentials books, it presents a series of excellent tutorials on how to make the most of Sonic Pi. It’s all written by Sam Aaron, the creator of Sonic Pi and prolific Sonic Pi live-coding DJ. As well as teaching you how to code music, we also have a couple tutorials on how to interact with Minecraft to create live visualisations of your work. Here’s what you’ll find inside the book:

  • Master live loops
  • Build drum breaks
  • Compose your own melodies
  • Make random riffs and loops
  • Create visualisations in Minecraft
  • A huge glossary of Sonic Pi functions

… and much more.

But that’s not all! While usually the Essentials books are download only ebooks, a lot of you have asked us if we could print them out. So we did! All the Essentials books – Command Line, Python, Sense HAT, and Sonic Pi – are available to be purchased right now for only £3.99 from our brand new online MagPi shop. They’ll also be on sale at the Birthday Bash tomorrow on the Pi Hut stall.

They're A5 sized so easy to slip into a bag for on-the-go learning

They’re A5 sized so easy to slip into a bag for on-the-go learning

You can also still get Code music with Sonic Pi on our Android and iOS app, as well as the usual PDF download.

Code music with Sonic Pi is freely licensed under Creative Commons (BY-SA-NC 3.0). You can download the PDF free now and forever, but buying in digital and print supports the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s charitable mission to democratise computing and educate kids.

Learn to live code with Sonic Pi

Learn to live code with Sonic Pi

We hope you enjoy it! We’re off to program some Gilbert and Sullivan into it.


thomas avatar


Kratos avatar

What’s with the weird GIFS you guys have been putting at the bottom of your posts?

Rob Zwetsloot avatar

I do it as it started off as a joke, but then somebody called me out when I didn’t use a Picard gif one time, so now it stays

Kratos avatar

Oh, OK. Great job on this latest guide. I really like the Essentials series.

AndrewS avatar

Only Rob gets to post Picard gifs – he’s special! :-)
Whenever I see a blog-post from Rob, I’m *almost* tempted to skip-to-the-end just to see what the latest GIF is.

Lee Wilkin avatar

Please Rob, keep posting your “weird” GIFs – this one is your bestest yet! :-) Ordered 7/9 [oops, meant 3/4 ;-) ] of those new print books (because there’s nothing like learning with hard copy when you’re on the Pi, right?). Wonderful way to expand my Pi skills while supporting the Foundation. :-)

Siriushardware avatar

I note that the .PDF version of the Sonic Pi book has ‘V1’ as part of its filesname – does this mean version 1 of the book, or that it refers to / concerns version 1 of Sonic Pi? (As I understand it, Sonic Pi is at version 2 now?)

Rob Zwetsloot avatar

Volume 1, we might do a volume 2 in the future

Kevin avatar

Publish two more Sonic Pi instalments and label them in binary, so the volume of the third goes up to 11

rekhila avatar

Awesome book…It very interesting to read..I am waiting for volume 2 update soon…

rekhila avatar

Nice..Its very good article on how to handle the future technology. This content creates a new hope and inspiration with in me. Thanks for sharing article like this. The way you have stated everything above is quite awesome. Keep blogging like this

Edward Scott avatar

Great job on this latest guide. I really like the Essentials series

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